A Special Builder's Notes


The Special Builder's Breakfast Club

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09 January 2015

Another Week Goes By.

And there is a distinct lack of progress racing car wise. But I have been busy.

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I swapped some anti-vibration matting (to be used on a pair of Brescia mudguard mountings) for a piece of Tufnol - or Paxolin; I'm never too sure which is which - and made up a carb to manifold insulating gasket for the Special. While I was at it, I also whipped off all the coolant hoses and replaced them with a stiffer variety. Besides the engine fading at odd intervals, there was always a problem with what appeared to be different rates of contraction between the various metal pipes and the hoses on shut-down. I might lose over a litre of water every time I switched off. Hopefully, not any more.

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I also rebuilt the carb - new gaskets throughout and a new jet.

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Interestingly, the new jet had only one drilling in it whereas the old jet had five. The little cork seals around the jet that once-upon-a-time you had to soak in oil for 24 hours have been replaced by fibrous washers that come ready gunked up with black 'orrible stuff wot gets all over everything.

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I always take a pic of the exploded diagram because it might just be ever-so slightly different from the book illustration. Anyway, I kicked off with one and a half turns of the mixture nut and off she went. A further couple of flats rich and she settled into a very sweet burble. Also interesting to note was that all six cylinders were firing from the off; it used to be that one or two of them would take a few seconds to catch up with the rest on a cold start - maybe the jet was to blame. I started up with the air cleaner duct removed so I could twiddle with the slide and get the mixture right. With the duct off, the outside of the carb iced up almost instantly (it's been unseasonably warm and humid today so that could be a factor) so I put the inlet duct back on and almost as quickly, the ice disappeared.

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Anyway, it's going to need a run to see if the insulating gasket has made any difference. If not, next stop, exhaust wrap.

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Another thing I'm inclined to blame the weather for is the disastrous results produced this week by my bread making machine. I know I was a bit lazy and tipped a couple of bags of ready-mix in the bucket but honestly, two disasters in a row?  The results (flat and rolling) reminded me that this week my work had taken me from Suffolk to an idyllic setting in Derbyshire - a little farm tucked away in a valley whose only access was through a dairy yard running with - well, I was careful where I put my feet.

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The narrow lanes, high hedges and the smell of cattle was very reminiscent of the village in Cornwall where my grandmother kept the school. As a small boy and staying in the School House just up from the farm, I remember that cows were very much part of the scenery, appearing at intervals at the kitchen window having once again broken through the garden hedge.

Next week, Kent.

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